Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Bargain Laser Collimator

Meoptex Alignment 1.25" Next Generation Laser Collimator for Newtonian Telescopes

I am comparing this to the Orion LaserMate collimator that I already own.  This is not quite as good, but at this price ($23.59) it is impressive (I bought it for a friend with a small reflector which is not behaving well because of collimation issues).    

Strong points: 

1. The display where the laser hits on the return from the two mirrors is a white background, which makes adjusting the beam to the center very easy.  

2. It collimates to almost exactly the same settings as my Orion LaserMate,

Weaknesses: 

1. It is not exactly concentric: if you rotate the unit in your eyepiece focuser, you can see it is not hitting the same spot on the primary mirror.  It is not a big variation, but not perfect.  There are adjustment screws covered with some plastic or sealant which might fix this.  To be fair the patient is a 2000mm focal length mirror, so even slight concentricity problems are obvious.  

2. The battery that came in it was utterly dead, but CR2032 batteries are easy to find in my cupboard of obscure batteries.  

3. The instructions mention a 2" adapter which was not included, but there was a space in the box for it.  Most telescopes with 2" focusers have such adapters anyway, so more a minor disappointment than defect.

4. It is not spectacularly bright, but again this is a 2000mm mirror, and in twilight with most reflectors should be adequate.

5. No instructions for using it to collimate.

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